Whenever I saw this familiar logo appeared in the supermarket shelf, it will remind me of this long life noodle dish that my late mum used to cook.
I am unsure about the exact name even in mandarin or Hokkien. I remembered my late mum called it “siu mee” or longevity noodles but I also remembered we called thick mee sua. I just discovered this thick and saltier version of flour vermicelli belong to the Teochew Puning clan as they called it Puning Mee Sua (普宁面线）。 However, what is printed in the package and some Teochew members said they called it “mee tiao” (面条）。。 And if you googled Puning Mee Sua, this is what you will get:
This is not as thin as the normal flour vermicelli, it is at least 3 times thicker than the one that was used in soup. Because of its thickness, it can be stir fried without sticking to each other . What I liked is it can be stir fried and its unique aroma that other types of noodles cannot replicate except the thin flour vermicelli or mee sua. That possibly is also part of the reason that we called it mee sua as it is the same thing except different in diameter.
My late mum did not cook this very often and we cooked only when there was a packet lying in the house. I remembered that the packet of long life noodles would only appeared in my house after my mum visited the temple and this was one of the offering to the deities. I was told this is also an important gift item for important occasions such as elder’s birthday.
I recalled she usually cooked this on Sunday morning but her version are much simpler than this, just bean sprouts and some sambal hae bee. Well, she seldom stir fry noodles with sambal hae bee (shrimp floss) except this noodle dish.. I am sure this way of stir frying did not originate from China but a form of localized cooking.
I love the aroma of fried long life noodles and heightened by the shrimp floss in the noodles. The beansprout is also an important ingredient in flavouring the noodle and provide some crunchy bits in the noodles. My family loves this but I am unsure other dialects but I know this is not a common noodle dish in the hawker centre.
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Servings : 4 adult servings
- 300 grams of thick long life noodles or siu mee or mee sua
- 200 grams of bean sprout
- 2 tablespoons of soaked dried shrimps
- Few sprigs of coriander or Chinese celery or spring onion (can also use Chinese chives)
- 3-4 eggs
- 3-4 dried shitake mushrooms, soaked and sliced
- 5 shallots
- 1-2 fresh chilli (chilli padi can be used0
- 1 teaspoon of fish sauce or light soya sauce (optional and depend of noodles saltiness)
- Dashes of white sugar
- 1 teaspoon of chicken stock powder or other seasoning
STEPS OF PREPARATION
- Bring some water to boil, put one tablespoon of cooking oil. Blanch the long life noodles until soft which took about 3-4 minutes. If there is instruction that comes with the package, follow the instructions. Drain the hot water and immediately soaked in ice or cold water for 2-3 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Pound using pestle and mortar or blend using the food processor the chilli, shallots and dried shrimps until coarse form. Set aside.
- In a pan, put some cooking oil, crack the eggs and pan fried the eggs into scrambled eggs . Set aside
- Another name of this noodle is called Salty Puning Mee Sua (普宁 咸 面线）- it means the noodles can be rather salty. Therefore, the blanching step will help to wash away the salt. During the cooking , do not add salty seasoning unless necessary.
- The dipping in cold water is necessary to ensure that your noodles will not stick together. The noodles will be very sticky when it is hot and once it stick together, you will have difficulty in stir frying.
- In a wok, put 2-3 tablespoons of oil, sauté the shallots and dried shrimp until aromatic. Add the drained long life noodles. Use a chopstick and ladle to stir fry the noodles until well mixed. Add the beansprouts, follow by chopped coriander, scramble eggs, white pepper and chicken stock powder. Stir until well combined. Take some to taste and decide if there is a need to add other seasonings such as salt.
- If the noodles are too dry, you can add 1/2 cup of water to facilitate the stir frying. I am sorry to say that you need quite a lot of oil to stir fry this noodles and health conscious readers shall not stir fry noodles. Avoid adding water as your noodles can become mushy.
- The whole process shall be rather fast and stir fried using high heat throughout the process.
- We do not usually break the noodles during stir frying, therefore stir fry using chopsticks will help to separate the noodles and leave the noodles intact. A long noodle is what is appealing in this dish.
- Besides the above humble ingredients, you can always add other ingredients such as Taukwa, small shrimps, minced meat and etc. .
I do not know the exact name of this noodles but it is thick noodles that have a unique texture and same flavour as thin flour vermicelli (mee sua). If you are unfamiliar with this noodles, you may want to give it a try.
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